The international law firm of Amsterdam & Partners LLP held a press conference on Monday at the National Press Club in Washington to announce their engagement on behalf of the Republic of Turkey to assist in the global investigation into the activities of the U.S.-based Gülen Movement.
According to the reliable and high-circulation newspaper Sabah Daily; the first in a new series of press conferences, Amsterdam & Partners LLP presented initial areas of inquiry related to the activities of the controversial movement that is accused of a series of alleged illegal activities ranging from attempts to oust an elected government to collect funds for its charter schools in the U.S. through illegal means.
Speaking to members of the press, lawyer Robert Amsterdam said the Gülenist network is trying to gain political influence around the world with its activities through hiring international journalists and that it has “a tremendous penetration” in global media.
Amsterdam stressed the need for a comprehensive investigation into the activities of the movement that “portrays itself as an educational movement” indulging in interfaith dialogue activities. He said there are serious claims received from third parties, who accuse the Gülenist network of breaching the laws of the United States.
Members of the controversial movement, who allegedly forge documents while getting U.S. visas or funds for their charter schools, have no transparency, said Amsterdam, adding that the shadowy network also seems to make use of legal gaps in the American judiciary. He added that some of the teachers who worked at the movement’s schools in the U.S. have reported many illegal activities that reveal the lack of transparency in the Gülenist structure. Amsterdam said the movement is also taking strong political stances and it bolsters its power through donations to politicians.
He explained the Gülenist structure as an organization that aims to take a political stance with its soft power in the media, think tanks and other organizations that lack transparency.
Amsterdam argued that an international investigation launched against the Gülen Movement will be of benefit to everyone and it is necessary for the accountability that global norms require. He also brought up the series of allegations of infiltration into the police department and judiciary via illegal means and to get involved in a series of illegal activities.
He also said since the announcement of the press conference, his office “is already receiving death threats from the Gülen organization.”
The Gülen Movement’s schools have faced criticism from different circles, and the FBI previously raided the Kenilworth Science and Technology Charter School in Louisiana.
In 2014, the Federal Bureau of Investigation raided 19 charter schools affiliated with the Gülen Movement in Ohio, Indiana and Illinois for reasons allegedly related to crimes linked to education tenders.
The movement’s first school was established in Ohio in 1999; currently, the Gülen Movement operates 140 charter schools in 26 states in the U.S.
Another charter school was shut down in 2011 for bribery charges.
Their schools have faced closures elsewhere in the world. Azerbaijan, a close ally of Turkey, shut down schools the movement operates in the country shortly after Erdoğan visited, as did Gabon and Senegal. In January, Tajikistan announced that it will not extend the agreement it made with the Gülen Movement over permission to operate schools in the country. Kosovo, Congo, Kazakhstan, Japan and Somalia have launched processes to close the movement’s schools.
Activities and operations of the Gülen Movement in the U.S. and Turkey have been scrutinized by a number of American media outlets that question the movement’s motives, opacity and why the U.S. government is providing refuge to Fethullah Gülen, who is currently facing numerous charges including treason and extradition.
The movement, led by Fethullah Gülen who lives in self-imposed exile in the U.S. is accused of wiretapping thousands of people including government officials and encrypted phones. It has been accused of infiltrating state institutions in Turkey and trying to overthrow the government. Referred to as the Gülenist Terror Organization (FETÖ), the movement is seen as a threat against Turkey’s national security. Government officials have continuously expressed their determination to continue to lawfully fight the Gülen Movement, whose followers are accused of infiltrating state institutions to gain control of state mechanisms and illegal wiretapping, forgery of official documents and espionage.
European Turkish Newspaper ©
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